Cancer Patients and the Benefits of Exercise

Here is a great article written by Melanie Bowen talking about the benefits of working out when battling cancer.Her blog can be found at:

Cancer Patients and the Benefits of Exercise Exercise not only helps with a long list of physical benefits, but it can also have mental effects that can help people get through tough times. For instance, cancer patients will find that physical activity is a fine way to feel better about life going forward. In fact, regular workouts are known to significantly reduce episodes of depression and anxiety in people who are currently battling a malignant tumor. As long as men and women ease into an appropriate exercise program, they should be able to handle the physical exertion and reap the many benefits.

Regular exercise provides a long list of benefits, one of the more common being weight control. Because extra fat around the midsection can drive some people into a deep depression and actually increase the risk of cancer and many other conditions, moderate amounts of physical activity will be to their benefit. Mixing in a bit of strength training will also help. Weight training can help not only with self-image, but with combating the fatigue caused by cancer treatment regimens as well. Often, treatments cause loss of muscle mass, which can increase the feelings or weakness and fatigue. Even light weight lifting can help improve the strength and overall feeling for patients.

Consistently being active can lead to other improvements throughout the body. Increased cardiovascular function and increased circulation allow the immune system to function more efficiently, therefore helping the body to combat foreign cells. Furthermore, this also reduces the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, both more common among cancer patients who are sedentary. The physical benefits of exercise are many, and it is imperative to speak with a doctor about appropriate activities for each individual based upon their current state of health and diagnosis.

Another benefit of exercise that is especially important to those battling cancer, are the mental improvements. Exercise induces endorphin release throughout the body, which have mood boosting effects. Depression and anxiety are common among cancer patients, especially among those with more dire circumstances such as those diagnosed with mesothelioma or leukemia. Therefore, finding ways to improve their outlook on life can go a long way through the process.

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